Half an hour by car to reach Banchory from the center of Aberdeen. The road follows the Dee River, a popular river for salmon fishermen. Appointment was made with Fergus Mutch, 30, the local candidate of the SNP (Scottish National Party, Scottish Independence Party), on a market of local producers, below this pretty village.
It is 10 o'clock in the morning, Fergus is a little wait at the beginning of the campaign for the general election on December 12. The night before, he was seen in a kilt at a SNP meeting in Aberdeen, at a hotel near the port. He had played bagpipes to support two other candidates, Kirsty Blackman and Stephen Flynn. The first is fighting to keep its seat in Aberdeen North and the second is trying to retake the Aberdeen South. In the British capital of energy, the economic heart of Scotland since the discovery of oil in the North Sea in the 1970s, the SNP vote is not obvious. The fall in oil prices, from 2015, has also calmed the ardor of independence.
Pro-European, the SNP has held the Scottish Executive since 2007; its leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has been Scottish Premier for five years. In the wake of the referendum on independence (lost, with 55.3% for the "no"), the party made a tidal wave in the general elections of 2015, but fell in 2017, with 35 deputies in Westminster out of 59 elected Scottish. Today, he plays big: he must regain lost ground to advance the separatist cause and avoid the Brexit (effective early 2020 if Boris Johnson wins his bet an absolute majority).
Transferees of Labor
On the small market of Banchory, Mothers in Barbour boots, grandmothers in tweed jackets, there are more volunteers distributing flyers for the Christmas market than political leaflets. "The SNP? We do not vote for them ", Slips Graene Myron, who sells waffles in her little trailer. he voted "leave" in 2016, but regrets "Seen the chaos in Westminster". The independence of Scotland? "It's fine, but what to do next? "
The riding of Banchory, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine voted "remain" at 61.48% in 2016, but against independence, at 60.3%, in 2014. "It's a traditionally conservative land," We slipped Fergus, fine beard and velvet jacket. The royal castle of Balmoral is about thirty miles away. The SNP was nearly 8,000 voices behind the Tories in 2017.